The Record - Issue 17: Summer 2020

118 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om P ublic transport is often a city’s oldest brand, run by agencies that took years to digitise. Old-school issues still exist, such as cumbersome physical ticketing and a lack of direction about which bus to board and where to get off. These gaps make city travel uncom- fortable for many people. Today’s economic uncertainty and reduced spending will drive a high influx of public transport users as people hold onto their money and manage low-cost travel. It’s a big comeback opportunity for public transport if operators can resolve a major issue: passenger confidence. Achieving 98 per cent assurance of safe travel without infections is a tough expectation. Most commuters will spend their money on personal protective equipment (PPE) and look for ways to use smartphone-based travel tickets. With various innovations in place, public transport operators may also do away with onboard validators and implement beacons to manage hop-on/hop-off automated tickets. In the ‘new normal’, public transport pro- viders will need to plan, calibrate and provide a new set of directions to passengers. These include how passengers should be seated, use of online seat booking or in-vehicle seat number- ing, touchless ticketing, sanitisation of buses, the use of PPE and even infrared thermal cam- eras to check on passengers flouting the rules. At PayiQ’s technology kitchen, we have been working to create a Covid-resilient ticketless product that allows public transport operators to reduce their capital expenditure. Instead, they can rely on our technology and phone eco- system to bring huge convenience to riders. And they can use our digital infrastructure platform to draw focused plans, enable ground-level collaborations and make it easier for them- selves – and the governments managing them – to meet present and future obligations. Our full-featured application for public transport can support multimodal automated hop-on/hop-off services, enabling payment for services across bus terminals and train stations or on trains. It can provide notifications to cus- tomers about routes, timetables, ticket types and purchases. First-mile and last-mile door lock/opening is also available, and it can even provide health updates to commuters who may or may not have been exposed to Covid-19. Commuters can communicate about their own health by taking temperature readings and sharing them with public transport authori- ties via a QR code. This way commuters are self-responsible for every journey they make on public transport. PayiQ’s technology leverages low-cost adop- tion for public transport bodies in the current scenario, so they can be ready for when cities start moving again. Shyam Sunder is vice president of global sales at PayiQ V I EWPO I NT Taking the right direction SHYAM S UNDE R : PAY I Q Public transport can make a big comeback as cities start moving again – but operators need to build passenger confidence